Kenya launches national blood donation campaign

Medics arrange units of blood donated during a campaign in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by: REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya

Kenya’s Health Ministry on Friday launched a blood donation campaign to restock the national blood bank that has been faced with shortages, an official announced.

Rashid Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, said that prior to the COVID-19 situation, the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service (KNBTS) used to collect 500 pints of blood every day, but the pints have since reduced dismally.

“With the entry of COVID-19 in the country, the situation has changed and the figures have dropped,” Aman told journalists in Nairobi.

He revealed that to date KNBTS collects only 250 pints of blood hence the current shortage in the national banks that are strategically located in all parts of the country.

He observed that the amount that is currently in the bank is below the World Health Organization (WHO) requirement that countries always maintain one percent of blood equivalent to their population.

Aman noted that with Kenya’s population that is currently 50 million, the blood bank is supposed to have 500,000 pints of blood at all times.

“Unfortunately, over the last few years, the bank has staggered at 164,000 hence the need for a donation campaign,” he said.

The official revealed that the government is collaborating with Facebook and Damu Sasa Systems, an online social media blood appeal site in mobilizing blood donors in the next two days.

He appealed to Kenyans to turn up in large numbers to come up and donate blood to save others who might be in need of the commodity.

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